Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea are all embroiled in a tense transfer battle regarding Leeds United star Raphinha.
The Gunners had taken the early lead in this transfer pursuit but their first official offer fell way below the £ 65m asking price that Jesse Marsch’s side have slapped on the Brazilian. Tottenham are rumored to be in the process of putting together a bid whilst their Blue counterparts in the capital are also ‘serious’ about signing the 25-year-old in their attacking revamp.
This is according to The Daily Mail who have reported that the new owner Todd Boehly has made his own calls to Raphinha’s reps as he’s prepared to take matters into his own hands in defeating his two London rivals this early on into his tenure. However, the understanding is that the £ 65m price tag is proving too steep for all three London clubs currently. Consequently, this is where the prospect of player swaps comes into the equation.
READ MORE: When Thomas Tuchel was spotted speaking to Raphinha as Chelsea aim to complete £ 65m transfer
Therefore with this in mind, football.london look at the six Chelsea players that could be offered in a player plus cash deal which could lower the £ 65m asking price and tilt the pendulum in the current World Champions’ favor in this ever-changing transfer race.
The midfielder’s renaissance at the end of 2021/22 came at a much-needed time for the Blues who could not rely on the injury-prone N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic at all times.
His shining performances including the FA Cup semi-final outing vs Crystal Palace has triggered numerous interest from around Europe with Lazio and Maurizio Sarri, in particular, keen for a reunion.
Thomas Tuchel’s stance on letting his number 12 leave this summer is currently unknown but with both Billy Gilmour and Conor Gallagher coming back from their loans and at least one of them being expected to be promoted to first-team duties, this may mean that one midfielder could be allowed to leave.
Jorginho to Juventus was the early talk of the summer but the Old Lady’s re-signing of Paul Pogba now throws doubt over any deal. Therefore, Loftus-Cheek could potentially now be used as a pawn in these Raphinha negotiations.
Leeds have already splashed nearly £ 30m on attacking midfielder Brendan Aaronson this summer but the 26-year-old’s versatility in the midfield means he can occupy multiple positions. Could he even be viewed by Marsch as a potential Kelvin Phillips replacement with the Three Lions international seemingly Man City-bound?
The USMNT international was someone who was linked to Liverpool early on in this transfer window but Jurgen Klopp’s men opted to spend big money on Darwin Nunez instead.
With Sadio Mane also leaving, it is understood that the Reds are looking for another attacking option but it does not seem as though the 23-year-old is being viewed as a viable target anymore.
Therefore, with multiple attackers expected to join Chelsea’s attacking rebuild this summer, it certainly leaves the number 10’s future in question, especially after his Dad expressed his son’s frustrations with a tweet put up after the Everton loss back at the end of 2021/22.
Pulisic could therefore be open to a new challenge under a new system and different manager and Marsch could view his fellow countryman as a good enough direct replacement for Raphinha, who is bound to leave with his current club already accepting his European ambitions.
The Moroccan time at Stamford Bridge looks to be coming to an end this summer.
AC Milan have signaled their interest in trying to negotiate a deal for the 29-year-old but nothing appears imminent as of yet in that regard.
A possible Raphinha-Ziyech swap has already been touted up by CBS’s Ben Jacobs, so it isn’t out of this world to assume that this could really come to fruition if the appetite is their between both clubs and the player himself.
But, it is understood that a move abroad would be Chelsea number 22’s first preference and his huge wages, like all the other Blues stars, could prove a stumbling block for Leads when considering potential swap deals.
The former Everton man realistically could have gone in the previous two transfer windows but wage problems meant that the likes of Burnley and others could not fully follow through on their interest.
However, this time around, the appetite seems to be there on the 28-year-old’s behalf to try something new this summer and a move to Yorkshire could prove the perfect option for the attacking midfielder to try and revitalize a career which has gone slightly stale since he moved down to the English capital.
As already mentioned, Leeds have signed RB Leipzig’s Aaronson, so the need for another attacking midfielder is not as great as it could be but Barkley’s versatility means he can be used as an inverted winger. Alternatively, he can be deployed a little deeper if needed too on the odd occasion.
The Spaniard’s time at Chelsea is coming to an end and that, in essence, is because of the form of Edouard Mendy who has been undroppable since moving from Rennes two summers ago.
Consequently, in an aim to keep his place in the Spain squad, Tuchel and Kepa have mutually agreed that a parting of the ways is needed this summer and so far, Lazio and Nice have shown the strongest interest in acquiring the most expensive goalkeeper in world football.
Newcastle were initially interested but they opted to sign Nick Pope instead. With Illan Meslier unreliable as shown on many occasion last season, a new shotstopper would be welcome at Elland Road and Kepa’s experience could prove attractive if he were to be included in any swap deal talks.
The Frenchman has always been viewed as a backup option in West London.
Sometimes he has risen up to the occasion but at other times, has failed to impress and stake a real claim in the team. Chelsea are expected to undergo a defensive re-shuffle this summer and despite his usefulness and versatility to come in at late notice to replace an injured player, his time in SW6 is already looking limited.
Leeds have already signed Danish full-back Rasmus Kristensen this summer but their own defensive woes last season mean the more the merrier regarding defensive acquisitions this summer.
Chelsea’s number 31 certainly has the versatility factor in being able to fill in at full-back and in central defense to make him somewhat of an attractive option to other Premier League clubs, so Leeds taking a punt on him isn’t something that you can categorically rule out.
Chelsea fans – are there any of those six players that you wouldn’t want included in a potential swap deal for Raphinha and why? Leave your thoughts down below in the comments section below!
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